Punjabi Maa ki daal (Slow cooked Black Urad Lentil)
I often tell people that Punjabi food that you get in restaurants is not the Punjabi food we eat at home, on a everday basis we don't eat dollops of cream and tons of ghee in everything. Punjabi Maa ki daal is similar to Dal makhani in many ways as it uses the same lentils. The whole urad dal with skin and a couple of Rajma's throw in. However this one is much lighter in terms of its preparation and gets most of its flavours from the slow cooking over hours. A speciality in Punjabi household, this one is often preferred over the popular Dal Makhani which which is left to be savoured at restaurants or a thing for celebration meals.
This is the dal I grew upto, which used to be a part of Sunday brunches and special dinners. This is also the dal which got made every Karwachauth without fail since according to a karwachauth tradition the lady fasting should not using a knife or a scissors and this one requires ZERO chopping. It's always amused me with it's beautiful slow cooked texture. Absolutely worth making on a easy relaxed day, this dal cooks itself you just need to stir it once in a while
- Wash the dal and rajma well for about 2-3 times and then soak in water for atleast 8 hours or overnight. The longer you soak is the better is the texture of the dal. I have seen my granny soak this dal for close to 24 hours, changing water every 8 hours
- In a heavy bottom pan (or a slow cooker if you have) bring to boil 5 cups of water with salt. Add the pre soaked dal and rajma to it and let it simmer till it cooks. Add the tomato and ginger to the same. This could take anywhere between 4-5 hours. The dal gets it flavours from the slow cooking however if you are in a hurry you can use the pressure cooker to fasten the process.
- Once the dal is cooked, mash the dal and tomatoes a little bit. We don't want to make it mushy just turn into thick consistency.
- In a small pan, heat ghee and once hot add the jeera seeds. Sauté till the turn slightly brown. Add all the dry masalas and roast for 1 minute taking care not to burn it.
- Add to the dal and boil it further for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with tandoori rotis or steamed rice